Archive for: August, 2008

Animal Rights Extremists kill at least a dozen mink

Aug 28 2008 Published by under Uncategorized

....by releasing them from a mink farm. This is what happens when you set animals free without regard to the consequences.
Now whether you think raising and killing animals for their fur is immoral or not, it takes a special kind of mind to cogitate that an appropriate solution is to spontaneously decrease the mink population by getting them killed.
Welcome to Mink Psychology 101: Remedial Minktation -- mink raised on a farm don't know anything about how the world works. When you let 6,000 of them out of their cages and 500 of them manage to escape out of the open farm gate, should anybody be shocked that a dozen of them died either because they were hit by cars, or simply from the sheer stress of a Mink Stampede?
By the way, 200 of the escapees still haven't been caught.
Then again, maybe the animal rights nutters are the ones who don't know how the world works. Accordingly, I feel compelled to create a new post category in their honor: "Rocket Surgery"
Hat Tip: Foundation for Biomedical Research E-Clips service

15 responses so far

First real day of class

Aug 21 2008 Published by under Academia

I signed up to teach 3 courses at the community college this fall; Human Biology and 2 sections of a Basic Concepts in Biology course. The latter is "remedial" biology, designed to catch up people with little or no biology experience so that when they take Intro biology, they're all on the same level. We give them a basic smattering of cell biology, molecular and genetics. Apparently the program has had decent luck with this course, and the students who take it often do well compared to those that don't. I think it is a fabulous opportunity to teach motivated but basically naive individuals. The experience will be even more challenging for me because at least 4 or 5 of my 25 students in one section have learning disorders or need special accomodations, so I've really got to figure out how teach well.
By contrast, my Human Bio section is full of nonmajors who spaced out in the first 5 minutes. Seriuosly, none of them gave a fuck because they're all there for a Gen Ed. Blah. Of course that would happen with the material I'm more qualified to cover.
And since I'm such a dumbass, I drove from where I work full time in one town to teach my afternoon sections in another, but I left my teaching materials at work. Great job, genius. At least I was able to gank a powerpoint from a similar course and wing it. What fun! Teaching really is easier after the first time around....

12 responses so far

Tool use in Chimpanzees AKA the perils of interspecies dating. NSFW.

Aug 19 2008 Published by under Synaptic Misfires

Lots of attention has been paid to the capacity of great apes to use objects as tools. Well, here we have an example of a chimpanzee at the Honolulu Zoo using a toad as a "marital aide". I feel bad for the poor toad, it certainly doesn't deserve to be treated like an object.
There's not more I can say about the subject, frankly I'm still simultaneously trying to process it and scrub it from my brain. Again, not safe for work viewing.

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7 responses so far

Getting in over my head

Aug 13 2008 Published by under Academia

So when does trying to advance one's career become a Bad Idea? How about when you're trying to recover from a nightmare postdoc so you take a part-time lab job while you regroup, then apply to a few teaching spots only to find out that you're only missing one qualification-- more teaching experience-- else you'd be gainfully employed?
The obvious solution is to get more teaching experience. For me, the only realistic option for doing this is to teach at the local community college. I taught Intro Bio this summer and it was really fun. However, as most people know, adjuncting at a community college does NOT pay the bills. So I loaded up on more courses for the fall, hoping that I'd be ok and get more exposure even though one or more of them might fall through due to low enrollment. I also started applying to interesting lab jobs.
Of course we have the perfect storm of "things actually going my way for f*cking once". I find a great lab to work in (with the potential to turn the spot into a postdoc if the funding works out), but so far all 3 of my courses for the fall are still on!!!! I'm going to have to balance a full course load with a 40+ hour a week position. Great.
At least I won't be poor this semester.... the up side is that I should be able to go to just about any faculty spot in the area and point out that I've carried more than a normal workload, and succeeded at it. Which will probably mean I won't get the job due to being overqualified. I swear, science really is an abusive lover.

One response so far